Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Bread Magic and Superstitions

Photo: When Lammas, or Lughnasadh, rolls around, many modern Pagans celebrate the harvest of the grain crops. This is nothing new - for our ancestors, the grain harvest was a cause for great celebration. A successful harvest meant families would be able to bake and store bread through the winter - and that could mean the difference between life and death for many.
Bread Magic and Superstitions -
- In Yorkshire, it was believed that if a loaf of bread failed to rise, it meant there was an undiscovered corpse nearby.
- One English tradition revolves around hot cross buns. If you bake yours on Good Friday, they will not spoil or grow mold. Another custom says that sailors should take a hot cross buns on their travels to prevent shipwreck. The cross on the bun comes from a superstition that marking the bun so would prevent the Devil from getting into the baked goods.
- In parts of Appalachia, it’s important to watch when you slice a loaf of bread for the first time - if you slice through a hole in the bread, it means someone is going to die. It is also well-known that if you put a slice of bread into a cradle, it will protect the infant from disease.
- For many cultures, the breaking of bread is symbolic of peace and hospitality. Once you have welcomed someone into your home and you have eaten bread together, you’re far less likely to kill one another.
- In parts of Norway, boys and girls who share bread from the same loaf are destined to fall in love and marry.
- For residents of Scotland, there's a tradition known as "first-footing," in which the first person to cross a home's threshold brings the residents good luck for the coming year. While waiting for your first guest to arrive, place a slice of bread and a silver coin outside the door for prosperity and warmth.
By Patti Wigington, Guide

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